The most important lessons I’ve ever learnt were in the days around 9/11

The profound impact of the tragedy in New York is clear but there was also the personal loss of a friend thanks to cancer, writes Janet Street-Porter

Friday 10 September 2021 23:50
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<p>As for the impact on society, since that day in 2001 politicians have continued to wage a fruitless war on terrorism in countries far from their own</p>

As for the impact on society, since that day in 2001 politicians have continued to wage a fruitless war on terrorism in countries far from their own

Twenty years ago, I sat marooned in a hotel room in Los Angeles watching scenes of utter panic and devastation unfold on every television channel. In a room upstairs one of my best friends was dying of cancer.

I don’t think I’ve learned anything more important in life than what I experienced in a few days in September 2001.

Witnessing my friend’s final days back then means I have no fear of dying. The end of life is just another moment in time, but for the survivors of the attack on the World Trade Centre, the long-term impact on their health has been profound. Cancers and respiratory diseases continue to cause early death and physical impairment.

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